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A Catechism for Girls and Boys

Part I: Questions about God, Man, and Sin

27. Q. What happened to our first parents when they had sinned?
     A. Instead of being holy and happy, they became sinful and miserable.

(Click through to read scriptural proofs.)

Click to read more ...


Round the Sphere Again: Ephesians 1:3-10 x 2

This week’s Arc of the Week at is an arc of this glorious explanation of God’s purpose in creation and salvation. 

by Don Carson (For the Love of God).

Have you ever wondered what Paul means when he talks about “the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3, 20; 2:6; 3:10, 6:12)?

In Ephesians, “the heavenly realms” or “the heavenlies” refers to the heavenly dimension of our ultimate existence, experienced in some measure right now.

Read the whole piece to learn how three theme come together in this passage.


Sunday's Hymn

I Know That My Redeemer Liveth

I know that my Redeemer liveth,
And on the earth again shall stand;
I know eternal life He giveth,
That grace and power are in His hand.


I know, I know, that Jesus liveth,
And on the earth again shall stand;
I know, I know, that life He giveth,
That grace and power are in His hand.

I know His promise never faileth,
The Word He speaks, it cannot die;
Though cruel death my flesh assaileth,
Yet I shall see Him by and by.

I know my mansion He prepareth,
That where He is there I may be;
O wondrous thought, for me He careth,
And He at last will come for me.

Jes­sie B. Pounds

Sung by a Chinese youth choir

 Other hymns, worship songs, sermons etc. posted today:

Have you posted a hymn (or sermon, sermon notes, prayer, etc.) today and I missed it? Let me know by leaving a link in the comments or by contacting me using the contact form linked above, and I’ll add your post to the list.


Called According to Paul: Ephesians

This is another repost of an old post in the Called According to Paul series. I’m reposting them all, one per week (sort of), so I can link to them in the sidebar under Favorite Posts. An explanation of this series can be found here, and the already reposted pieces are here.

In this post, I’m going to look at all the uses of the word called or calling in Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians. The first time Paul uses this word is in Ephesians 1:18:

…since the eyes of your heart have been enlightened - so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints… (NET)

I see this as being similar to the other times Paul tell us that God’s call is to something: to righteousness or peace or holiness, etc. God’s call, as the term is used here, is an appointment. Specifically in this case, it’s an appointment to hope.

Next, skipping over to chapter 4 of Ephesians, where the word called or calling is used several times in the first few verses:

I, therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live worthily of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling….

Here, as we saw, too, in 1 Corinthians 1 and 7 (and other texts), called and calling are being used as near synonyms (or metonymies) for salvation. Those who are being saved are being urged to live in a way that reflects God’s saving work within them, or that reflects their status as ones who are being saved.

Notice, too, that in verse 4, just as in Ephesians 1:18 above, Paul says that our call is to hope.

These posts are getting a little repetitive aren’t they?  That’s not a bad thing, because it means we’re discovering a pattern to the way Paul uses the word called in his writings.


Round the Sphere Again: Gospel Truth

The Real Thing
John Piper answers the question “What is the gospel?”

Matthew Barrett at The Gospel Coalition Blog: We need a God who does not depend on us, for “[i]t is precisely because God is free from creation that he is able to enter into creation in order to save lost sinners.”

The Fakes
Trevin Wax charts six counterfeit gospels, showing how each one affects the gospel Story, gospel Announcement, and gospel Community.